June 12th, 2014
Today is the start of the 2014 FIFA Football World Cup! This long awaited contest will have football fans rejoicing, and although the Welsh International team have long since been knocked out of the competition, there are sure to be plenty of twists, turns and excitement to keep us gripped here at the Oakeley Arms.
This year’s competition comes all the way from the tropical climes of Brazil, the first time a football World Cup has been staged in South America since 1978. It will run from today (12th June) for a month, until the 13th July, and a whopping 32 teams will play 64 matches. Did you know that the total prize fund for the 2014 FIFA World Cup is a whopping $576 million, with a cool $35 million going to the eventual winner.
And to celebrate 2014 FIFA World Cup fever, here are our favourite world cup facts. Did you know…………?
- The World Cup has been played 18 different times since it began in 1930, but only 8 different nations have held the trophy…….
- The 2014 FIFA World Cup games will take place in 12 different stadiums in 12 different cities across Brazil.
- The Brazilian team have a lot to play for this year – they are the only cup winners not to have won the competition when they have hosted.
- No nation has ever won the world cup three times consecutively. Italy (in 1934 and 1938) and Brazil ( in 1958 and 1962) have won twice in a row, but never three times.
- Teams from Europe or South America are the only teams to have won the World Cup. Teams from Australasia, North America, Asia or Africa have never been successful.
- Around 3 million tickets have been made available for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. 62% of those have been bought by Brazilians, but people from the USA have bought a whopping 22,000 tickets and Germany have bought 18,000!
- In 2006, the final between Italy and France was watched by 715 million people worldwide!
- Bosnia-Herzegovina is the only nation to take part in the 2014 FIFA World Cup for the first time.
- The official mascot for the 2014 FIFA World Cup is a blue and yellow armadillo called “Fuleco”.
- The final of the World Cup will take place in Rio’s Maracana Stadium, in the shadow of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue. The stadium capacity is 79,000 people!
- Bookmakers are currently backing Brazil as the favourites to win, with Germany coming second. Who’s your favourite?!